Jack Vinales Antiques is famed for its Bakelite collection and for mid-20th-century modern furniture and accessories by such notable designers as Mies van der Rohe, Charles Eames, Arne Jacobsen and George Nelson. But don’t miss the exceptional American and European pottery collection or vintage silver from Georg Jensen, Spratling and Tiffany. And if you’re a Fiestaware fan, this is the place to drool over rare pieces. Jack Vinales Antiques, 539 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota; (941) 957-0002.
“Antiques are our passion,” says Bruce Crissy of Crissy Galleries. His mother, Carol, founded this beloved Sarasota enterprise 42 years ago and it now enjoys an international reputation for its expertise in 18th- and 20th-century furniture, porcelains, cut glass, silver and paintings. The vault collection caters to serious collectors of Tiffany and Handel lamps, American and European art glass, bronzes, paintings and estate jewelry. Crissy Galleries, 40 S. Washington Blvd., No. 150, Sarasota; (941) 957-1110.
When Boston antique dealers Garth Curry and Keith Filion opened Blue Moon Antiques in 1992, it became a favorite haunt for fans of furniture, lighting and mirrors from the 19th and early 20th centuries. This is the place to find ornate chandeliers and elaborately decorated mirrors—perfect accent pieces for today’s grand homes. Ask about the handsome hand-carved beds from France fit for a king or queen—or both. Blue Moon Antiques, 134 S Pineapple Ave., Sarasota; (941) 365-0978.
“I only buy what I love,” proclaims Cheryl Burke of Burke & Company, who travels regularly to find the “very unique and the very different.” Burke specializes in Chinese porcelains, French country clocks, museum-quality pottery, chandeliers, and outdoor sculptures and ceramics. Her treasures have included an iridescent Murano glass chandelier made in the 18th century, hand-carved wooden Chinese guards that stand seven feet tall, and an Italian Renaissance court cupboard. Burke & Company, 527 S Pineapple Ave., Sarasota; (941) 952-0042.
Wear comfortable shoes to Steve Postans Antiques, because there’s 28,000 square feet of antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries to explore. The ever-changing smorgasbord of English and European vintage furniture includes leather Chesterfields, breakfront wardrobes and sideboards made of exquisite mahogany, Chippendale and Queen Anne chairs, Italian walnut commodes, majestic mirrors and about 2,000 other wondrous items. Steven Postans Antiques, 7881 15th St. E., Sarasota; (941) 755-6063.
Tom Brown of Thomas Vernon Brown Arts and Antiques invites collectors of vintage glass and painted porcelain to sort through his handpicked collection of glistening glassware (Fostoria, Fenton, and Libbey, among other names) and delicate porcelain objets d’art from Limoges, Wedgwood and R.F. Prussia. Brown offers unusual sterling silver items, including cigarette cases, tea strainers, purses, and candlesticks. Did we mention his Italian Florentine collection? Next time! Thomas Vernon Brown Arts and Antiques, 538 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota; (941) 366-4479.
You can always find new treasures to covet at Osprey’s House of Lords, because owner Bob Harris stocks more than 5,000 items in this “consignment museum.” The British-bred Harris is choosy about what he consigns, accepting only top-of-the-line 19th- and early 20th-century American and European antiques, including glassware, ceramic pieces, lighting and provenance furniture. Harris also specializes in high-end oil paintings by known artists. House of Lords, 803 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey; (941) 966-5446.
Elegant lines, functional form and formidable wood veneers characterize furniture designed during the Biedermeier period (1815-1848). Collectors travel from faraway places to Elizabeth Rice, Inc., to view superior Biedermeier armoires, chairs, chests, settees, sofas, desks and tables. Rice’s gallery also includes contemporary art by such acclaimed artists as Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell and Robert Rauschenberg, creating a world where old and new cohabit artfully. Elizabeth Rice, Inc., 1467 Main St., Sarasota; (941) 954-8575.
Set aside time to visit Yellow Bird Antiques, because owner Joann Carmel will personally guide you through her empire of the rare and the remarkable. Her ever-changing inventory includes Napoleonic memorabilia, miniature books, 18th-century santos, Russian icons, British Royal collectibles, vintage jewelry and even a ceremonial pygmy bustle. This enchanting shop has been a favorite of collectors since it opened in 1970. Yellow Bird Antiques, 640 S. Washington Blvd., Sarasota; (941) 388-1823.
Long known in New York and Connecticut for his expertise in vintage furniture, pottery, porcelain and paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, Alexis Mihura now showcases rare and refined items from this era at Eagles Lair Antiques Warehouse. His collection of paintings, including works by Thomas Sully and Thomas Moran, is splendid to view—and worth the visit alone. Call for an appointment first. Eagles Lair Antiques, 821 N. Lime Ave., Sarasota; (941) 952-0844.
Our 10 Best lists are not ranked in order of numerical preference.